NUT QUINOA & CHOCOLATE BARS

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are versatile and delicious nutty-tasting seeds packed with life-giving minerals and vitamins. These green seeds are the most alkaline-forming seed, which can be incredibly beneficial to a modern day, highly acidic diet. What’s more, pepitas contain about the same amount of protein by weight as red meat (20-30 grams of protein per 100 grams of pumpkin seeds), are high in zinc (a protector against osteoporosis), are filled with a ton of minerals (phosphorus, magnesium, iron and more), and are a fantastic source of B group vitamins.

Pepitas can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, and are great thrown into salads, muesli, smoothies, and more. This indulgent recipe from Green Kitchen Stories makes for the perfect afternoon energy-boost, something we can all use from time to time, especially as the weather starts to get colder. Alongside the pumpkin seeds, these bars offer fiber from the dates, protein from the nuts and nut butter, and the healing benefits of ginger. Plus, everything tastes better with dark chocolate!

Nut, Quinoa & Chocolate Bars
Makes around 18 bars

Ingredients

2 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
10 fresh soft dates, pitted
1 cup / 250 ml / 250 g nut butter (see recipe for homemade nut butter in this post)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup / 80 g raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
1 cup / 30 g puffed quinoa
a handful raw almonds, coarsely chopped
a pinch sea salt flakes, optional
3,5 oz / 100 g dark chocolate (70%)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

Instructions

Melt coconut oil in a medium size sauce pan on low/medium heat. Mash the pitted dates with a fork and add to the sauce pan together with the nut butter and freshly grated ginger. Stir around until it all comes together and cook for just a few minutes on low heat. Remove from the heat. Add pumpkin seeds, puffed quinoa and chopped almonds. Taste and add salt if needed (depending on how salty the nut butter is).

Line an 8 x 10 inch / 15 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper and scoop the batter into it. Use the palm of your hands to press everything together tightly into an even rectangle, roughly 2/3 inch / 2 cm high. Put in the fridge or freezer while melting the chocolate on a double boiler / water bath. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars and use a spatula to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and put back into the fridge or freezer until cold and firm. You can store the bars in the freezer and they will last for months or in the fridge if you plan on eating them within a few days.